Step into the captivating world of YUME YUME, a visionary brand that defies conventional norms and blurs the boundaries between fashion and art. Founded by Eva Korsten, YUME YUME began as a quest to fill a void in the market, a desire for unique beach flip-flops that exuded love and individuality. What started as a side project quickly blossomed into a global phenomenon, attracting attention from prestigious stockists and captivating audiences worldwide. With a commitment to originality and a passion for fostering self-expression, YUME YUME has emerged as a symbol of artistic freedom and unbridled creativity.
In this captivating interview, we dive into Eva’s inspiring journey, explore the iconic shoe with a heart, and uncover the brand’s exciting collaborations that transcend traditional boundaries. Read on to embark on a whimsical adventure where fashion becomes a canvas for artistic exploration, and the possibilities are limitless.
Fashion excites me a lot, but fusing art, architecture, and technology keeps me interestedEva Korsten
Fab: Can you walk us through the beginnings of YUME YUME and how it has grown into the brand it is today?
Eva Korsten: It happened quite organically; the first idea to start the brand came when we visited the Philippines. During our travels, we noticed that we needed a beach flip-flop, but there was not really anything in the market that we would buy. We started the brand as a side project to see where it would take us. The project evolved in all aspects: design, strategy, and professionalism. Since then, it has grown into the brand that it is today. Hearing people from other continents say that they know the brand is really amazing.
We started when the pandemic hit. It was Paris Fashion Week just before the lockdown, and that’s when Dover Street Market and LN-CC in London placed an order—our first international stockists. And from that moment on, it grew into the brand that it is today, where we work with amazing stores all over the world. We never imagined that everything would evolve this quickly.
We’re 3 years in, and it’s amazing to see how something we envisioned and felt was missing within the industry is now a viable business. Consider our collection an ode to those who have a natural knack for sparking interest and curiosity. An act of love for originality. We aim to encourage people to express themselves freely. Allowing them to embrace their distinctiveness and break free from limitations is something we hope to keep creating with this vision in mind, and we hope to have more and more people connect to this vision.
We want to take people to our dream world via footwear as our first category, but the bigger goal is to have a size-inclusive head-to-toe offering within a fashion-fluid future, offering the wearer an identity free from the restricting influence of the typical gender norms of design. Clothing should be a discipline in which everyone can express themselves without limitations. My design vision is gender-free. There’s a consciousness of being mindful of different body types and genders.
Consider our collection an ode to those who have a natural knack for sparking interest and curiosity. An act of love for originalityEva Korsten
Fab: The iconic shoe with a heart has become synonymous with the YUME YUME brand. Can you tell us about the significance of this shoe and its role in the brand’s story?
Eva Korsten: Most of my designs come from the world around me. I could get inspired by a random shape I see in the streets or a situation that gives me a certain feeling. Our love heel came to life during the lockdown when I had an urge to go dancing and spread love. Our tyre slide is inspired by a folded bicycle tyre that I saw in the streets of Amsterdam. The inspiration for ‘Superbloom’, our new SS23 collection, came from wild flowers I noticed, and I was very much drawn to the idea of how these just pop up in unexpected places. The most beautiful flowers appear between the sidewalk tiles.
Fashion excites me a lot, but fusing art, architecture, and technology keeps me interested; it adds another layer to the process and craft. In my design philosophy, I value creating something unique that has not been seen before and has a surprising factor. Some people might have to get used to our designs because they find them strange or ugly. I love to surprise people and show them something they are not used to. I think this is a very important aspect because it might challenge people to shift perspective from looking at something strange to seeing originality, not only in our designs but in life in general around them.
I’ve always had the urge to go travelling and see other sides and realities of the world. I look for deviance in the broadest sense, and I love to surround myself with that realness and edge. I noticed that once I got to see more of the world, tickling my curiosity, my creativity started to flow. Pushing myself towards that challenging level of looking beyond traditional beauty. There’s nothing wrong with beauty, but I find it important to find a balance and look deeper when we can.
Fab: YUME YUME’s recent collaboration with Kate Ahn resulted in a capsule collection that caught the eye of many. Could you describe the collection and what it means for the brand’s future collaborations?
Eva Korsten: I was drawn to work with Kate because of her fierce individuality. To me, her work symbolises a way of self-expression that celebrates the pure beauty of who you are while at the same time being playful and fun. We aim with YUME YUME to build an open artistic space that attracts creatives from different fields. Together, we can keep blurring the lines between art and fashion by pushing our boundaries beyond the ordinary, rethinking everyday life, and co-exploring new concepts.
Kate picked three of her favourite styles and used them as canvas for three of her artworks. The Fisherman boot showcases the ‘Mini Me’s’, featuring the artist’s symbolic illustration draped across, bringing a colourful dimension to our classic YUME YUME style. The Camp shoe mid has a blue cloudy-patterned “laced” print overlay with bows made of fine blue ribbon. The Love heel demonstrates the directional spin on our heart-shaped heeled sandals with Kate’s ‘Nudles’ artwork.
YUME YUME dreams to build a multi-disciplinary artistic space that attracts creatives from different fields. While working together with other creative minds, we are committed to blurring the lines between art and fashion by pushing their boundaries beyond the ordinary, rethinking ordinary life, and co-exploring new concepts.
After our capsule collection with Kate Ahn, we’re about to launch our first capsule collection in interior design, working with Dutch studio Thier & van Daalen. YUME YUME and studio Thier & van Daalen launch a collaboration that fuses fashion with design. For this partnership, we present a collection of hand-selected recycled plastic shelves that feature intricate patterns. Alongside the design shelves, the limited edition special drop includes our signature slides, the Suki & Tyre slide, in matching Shiny Lilac/Black, Shiny Blue/Grey, and Orange/Pink.
Every shelf is unique, being of a different colour tone and shape and manufactured with as little energy as possible to minimise the impact on the environment. The limited shelves are numbered from 1 to 45 and launch on May 26th on YUME YUME’s website. For the collaboration, retailers worldwide include SSENSE, END. Clothing, Kith, and The Four Eyed.